Ground From Above - Terrão de Cima by Renato Stockler

"A ‘terrão’ (earthen field) is an oasis in the urban landscape. The reddish tone of a soccer field turns into a stage for resistance of popular soccer. These fields are increasingly rare to be seen because of property speculation and land occupation, and they standing as a spirit of resilience." - Renato Stockler

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Where The Average Weekend Is Anything But: Portland and The Timbers Army

Photos captured by Jordan Beard

Over the past week, Portland, Oregon was situated right on the middle of the global game’s map. From Thierry Henry to Mario Götze, icons and phenoms were filling the streets as the MLS All-Stars welcomed Bayern Munich to town. We were at Providence Park for that match, and it was great. But it wasn’t Portland.

The stadium was packed to the brim and full of fans from overseas, but it wasn’t Portland. So, we returned to see this city’s side play Chivas USA to take in an "average game" and witness the atmosphere that the Timbers Army and company could create.

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Brazil vs. Germany, without Brazil

Brazil didn’t show up against Germany. So, naturally, here are Germany’s seven goals against Brazil in an alternate universe where Brazil literally didn’t show up. (via AFR)

History Repeats Itself: Brazil suffers another heartbreak on home soil

By Zack Goldman

The world’s most decorated football nation waited 64 years to erase a nightmare.

Instead, a worse one came.

It has been said it could never get as bad for Brazil as the Maracanazo, the nation’s famous loss to Uruguay in the 1950 World Cup Final in Rio.

That was carnival recast into funeral, when 400,000 horrified eyes looked on as a haunting blur of sky blue rendered their heavily-favored heroes powerless.

It was the unthinkable happening to the invincible.

It was like watching one’s own home being robbed during a party.

And, while the five World Cup triumphs that followed for the Seleção certainly displaced the prominence of that memory, it would be disingenuous to say that the historical mosaic of futebol in Brazil has altogether discarded that recurring fever dream of so many years ago.

Whether the goalkeeper Barbosa’s infamous blunder — which has long been blamed for the loss — was heard in the stadium or through staticky radio waves or via trembling voices or quivering hands or lines of print on a page years later, it is a story whose legacy lives on and that no Brazilian of any generation since has forgotten.

If anything, the Maracanazo's influence and significance is more alive this year, as the country hosts the World Cup for the first time since 1950, than at any moment in recent history.

Yet, while every Brazilian grew up hearing the legend, the vast majority of the country never knew anything of the taste, the smell, the sight of that kind of disappointment. After all, this is a nation that hadn’t lost a competitive match on home soil since 1975.

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As We Watch Brazil’s Dance

By Anthony Lopopolo

In the beginning of Dave Zirin’s book, Brazil’s Dance with the Devil, one of America’s pre-eminent political sports writers tells us that he simply had to write a book about Brazil – a country, said one of his professors, that is certainly not for “beginners.” But Zirin is no beginner. He is the voice of reason in a country of unreasonable disparity.

He first starts in the favelas, one of them surrounding Rio’s Maracana, where hundreds of homes, once built by generations of families, were “cracked open.” Those residents were relocated, some moved hours away, some getting no compensation at all.

Zirin then interviews journalists and academics, street sweepers and the indigenous peoples, as he searches for the meaning behind everything that has happened in Brazil over the past year. His latest book is an essential companion for this month. It examines what it means to be Brazilian and explains why FIFA is exploiting the land like its colonizers from Portugal so many years ago.

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Google x The World Cup (via AFR)

The Cost of the Cup, by PEZ (via AFR)

The Cost of the Cup, by PEZ (via AFR)

"Today is another important day in our lives

run for your family, and your friends

run like it is the last day of your life

run like you’re a crazy man chasing happiness

go with God. God bless you. I love you.”

- Neymar’s father to his son (via AFR)

Eight by Eight Magazine x The World Cup (via AFR)

The Six Who Could Change Everything

For Issue Two of the superb Rabona Magazine, illustrator Kate Copeland created six masterful portraits of true playmakers who will be at this summer’s World Cup. (via AFR)

footysphere:

Football and bovril a match made in heaven and one that’s been a staple of the British matchday experience for years. Above is a selection of football-themed Bovril adverts from the fifties and early sixties. The one top left is particularly interesting because it featured as the main back page advert for the very first floodlit match at Wembley Stadium so not only was it themed around football it was designed with a specific footballing occasion in mind. 

footysphere:

Dinamo Stadium, Minsk - a few retro images of lovely stadium that is both beautiful and brutal. It has graceful arches, brutalist lines and magnificent kick-ass floodlights It was opened in 1934, destroyed during WWII and then rebuilt. It was renovated for the 1980 Summer Olympics held in the Soviet Union and hosted group games and a quarter-final. It was the home ground of Dinamo Minsk who relocated in 2008. It is now home to FC Minsk as well as the Belarusian national team.

Louder than words: Brazilian graffiti clashes against the World Cup

While the protests that took place during last summer’s Confederations Cup were overwhelming and affecting, recent news out of Brazil suggests that what we saw last year might have only been a precursor to a larger movement set to convene just as the World Cup looks to kick off in less than two weeks. 

From teachers to doctors, artists to indigenous populations, the Brazilian population is once again uniting against a perceived neglect on the part of the Brazilian government. With taxpayer funds gone missing, local businesses shunned in favor of multinational conglomerates, and many Brazilians left in an unstable position as both housing costs and forceful evictions increase, Brazilians are angry, and rightfully so. 

But while last summer’s protests focused upon mass gatherings as a primary means to garner international attention, organizers and frustrated Barzilians have shifted tactics, utilizing a variety of platforms to spread their message. And what could be more arresting for visitors to Brazil than anti-World Cup graffiti in the cities hosting matches?

Here’s to Brazilians taking a stand and making their voices heard. In any way possible. [Posted by Maxi]

Street art to welcome the World Cup (via AFR)

Don’t fall in! (via AFR)